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New LG DVI Player Impression

post #1 of 532
Thread Starter 
What AVS category should I post to? The LG LST-3510A is really a unique three-in-one combination and crosses over AVS forum boundaries:

1) Dvd player with DVI-HDTV 720p, 1080i output
2) HDTV DTV Tuner
3) DVI switcher

Existing system
-------------------
Sony HS20 projector with 92" 16:9 Firehawk screen, 60" GWIII rear projection, Momitsu 880 DVI player, Samsung T160 HDTV tuner, Pioneer 47Ai. Note: DVI outputs used, DVI to HDMI cable on order for the Sony HS20.

Critical Reevaluation
-------------------------
The LG Electronics ST-3510A Dvd player caused myself a to perform a critical reassessment of digital video technology. This technology is actually better than what I thought it could be!

Edited update on 12-06-2003: Added 1:1 mapping benifet
Edited update on 12-04-2003: Removed overly cautious section
Edited update on 11-30-2003: See new section *removed*

Hardly anyone here speaks about the quality of MPEG2 decoders. Lots of talk about de-interlacting and up-conversion. But MPEG2 decoder/output quality?

Specifically my findings indicate that the LG-3510 greatly reduces MPEG2 artifacts, including block noise as compared to my existing equipment. Block noise is a somewhat clear crunched cellophane you see all to often in digital video. I find this very irritating!

DVD and HDTV Playback
---------------------------
The following observations are true for both Dvd and HDTV television pictures. The LST-3510 improves upon my existing equipment in the following areas:

1) sharper but NOT artificially so (like the bad-boy Samsung 931)
2) improved natural detail
3) transparency - the look through quality of reduced MPEG II artifacts
4) sharp and natural as a tack. I use 720p for Dvd playback and 1080i for HDTV. ( I must still manually switch this on the front panel)
5) refinement!

Note: these observations are just my subjective opinion. I await confirmation from my fellow AVS forum members.

Dvd Color Quality
------------------
The Dvd color quality has changed too. But I'm not able to state anything but maybe less is better. For DVD the color bandwidth is a lot less than the luminance bandwidth. Perhaps my existing MPEG2 decoders overstate the color and obscure the luminance detail?

Because its picture quality refinement, I place the 3510 ahead of the Momitsu 880 and Bravo D1. Other than the player making a little bit of noise occasionally, I find NO reliability or operational issues. We have been delivered! In fact quality appears first rate...

DVI Switch
-----------
The LG-3510 ingeniously solves the common DVI switching dilemma between DVI player and HDTV receiver. No 250-800 dollar switcher needed. Only one expensive DVI cable required instead of three. A couch potatoes dream!

HDTV DTV Tuner
--------------------
No more noise when viewing the unused analog NTSC tuner. The 3510 does not contain one. The unit is similar to the Sony 300 and Zenith 520 except there is NO Direct-TV satellite tuner. Selectable variable/automatic and fixed resolution output decoding. Nice.

As for the picture quality: Even though the Jay Leno show looked great before it looks incredible now. Makes the eves pop out of your head. Motion is much clearer and natural. Sony 300 and Zenith 520 owners should be able to attest to this!

Comparison with Samsung T160 HDTV Receiver
---------------------------------------------------
Once you see better you know it. The Samsung 160 picture quality is much coarser/grainer and lacks the refinement of the 3510.

Who is LG Electronics?
------------------------
They make the Sony 200-300 and Zenith 520 HDTV receivers. They look similar to this unit.
LG just begun to distribute their own products here. Distributed by Zenith. Do they own Zenith?

Hope that is enough for now. I bought mine locally with a 20% discount with no sales tax.


12-06-03 Update
--------------------
If you read through the subsequent posts, this thread appears to have launched into "outerspace". But seriously a good heated discussion can reveal much useful information and clear up misconceptions. Hopefully everyone will benefit once the issues get sorted out. Which is the also purpose of this update.

In my original review, I had mentioned that I was using the new Sony HS20 front projector. The HS20 contains a performance enhancing mode which allows for much improved picture quality. Here at AVS forum this effect is commonly referred to as "1:1 pixel mapping".

For home theater 1:1 pixel mapping makes a dramatic improvement in black level, contrast, color quality and sharpness. Anyone would notice the difference. Its like engaging the after-burners a jet fighter. Or total eclipse, the difference being almost night and day. In summary, the gain in performance is exhilarating to behold.

Some home theater digital displays devices allow for 1:1 mapping. CRT never perform true digital 1:1 mapping as they scan in the analog domain. Most expensive DLP and LCD front projectors include it. Most rear projection displays could allow for it, but the designers have shamelessly removed it.

Computer desktop monitors always include it. Otherwise the text would be distorted and blurry. Essentially 1:1 mapping requires that every pixel pass-thru the display device and remain untouched its scaling circuitry.

At this point in time in the technology curve, full res HDTV 1920*1080i displays are just not here yet. But 1280*720 HDTV displays are common-place.

So what does this all have to do with this LG 3510 Dvd player review?

My review used the combination of the 3510 and the new Sony HS-20. I selected DVI output. I selected 1280*720 resolution. I set the HS-20 to pass-thru/1:1/ computer input.

I didn't know it at the time but I, for the first time, had just met all of the conditions necessary to engage perfect digital 1:1 mapping. I wrote the review based upon this combination. Anyone would notice a huge increase in quality, especially with a 92" projector capable of displaying tack sharp images.

In the future reviewers should state if they are using digital 1:1 mapping mode.

Let not any of this distract from the fact that the 3510 is the best reasonably priced 1280*720p (1:1 capable) player on the market.
post #2 of 532
Very interesting evaluation. Thanks for posting the info.

John
post #3 of 532
Can you output DVD via the DVI output? I.e. like the Bravo D1 ...?
post #4 of 532
Have you tried the RGBHV 720p output? This would be of interest to FP CRT users.

Gary
post #5 of 532
How is it with DVD lipsync?
post #6 of 532
I'm in. Where or how do I find it locally? Where are you locally?
post #7 of 532
Softenger,

Thanks for great review. Have you tried playing a Disney movie thought the DVI output,and if so did it play at 720p or 1080i ?


Thanks again,

RCFOSTER
post #8 of 532
Although the 3510A will output 720p/1080i through component and RGB for the HDTV OTA and QAM tuners, for DVD, 720p/1080i is only available from the DVI output, and only with an HDCP compliant display.
Component DVD is limited to 480i/p. There is no RGB output at all for DVD.
post #9 of 532
LG owns the LG, Zenith, and Goldstar brands. They are based in South Korea and have only this past year began marketing their LG branded product in retail channels in North America. They are expanding their LG line in to just about every product category, including some new ones such as HTIB with wireless rear speakers. Some interesting plans on their 2004 lineup...
post #10 of 532
LG have been selling good quality, low cost electronics in the UK for many years.

I wonder if the 3510A is available here?
post #11 of 532
Quote:


Originally posted by Robert Whitehead
and only with an HDCP compliant display.

Oh crap. Well, I knew this would eventually become a limitation with my LPX-500.
post #12 of 532
*bump*

Looking for observations on 1) lipsync, and 2) 720p via DVI on copyprotected DVDs
post #13 of 532
No lipsync problem at all. Yes you can get 720P or 1080i via DVI on copyprotected DVD, I've tried quite a few Disney Movies.

Love the HDTuner 720p DVI output to my DWIN TV3, noticeably more details and smoother picture than my Mits. HD5.
post #14 of 532
Where did you get it?
post #15 of 532
Quote:


They are based in South Korea and have only this past year began marketing their LG branded product in retail channels in North America.

Are you sure about this? I've have an LG CD-ROM that is at least 6 years old. I've also seen LG televisions on the shelves for several years.
post #16 of 532
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by Axatax
Are you sure about this? I've have an LG CD-ROM that is at least 6 years old. I've also seen LG televisions on the shelves for several years.

My statement should have only pertained to audio and video gear. My wife has an LG cell-phone. Thanks for the correction!
post #17 of 532
could anyone say what the price is?
post #18 of 532
Quote:


could anyone say what the price is?

$599


But my question is, how much better is a DVI DVD player going to look on an HDTV set with DVI versus a standard progressive scan DVD player?
post #19 of 532
mr_spectre:
Welcome to AVS Forum! I suggest that you go look at the review of the Bravo D1 in a recent Widescreen Review (two months back, I believe). Aside from the actual review, there is an excellent discussion of the relative merits of DVI output for different display technologies - the benefits are NOT all the same just as HDTVs are not all the same. Some technologies like the DLPs benefit greatly, others less so.
post #20 of 532
Anyone know LG's web URL? Maybe they have a list of US dealers.

I've located one dealer so far in the San Francisco Bay Area but I don't expect them to offer any discounts. They do six figure home theater installations and sell a little "junk" on the side. When I called them this afternoon they said they just got the LG 3510a and had it connected to the new Loewe plasma.

Any chance LG will sell through one or more of the big chains?
post #21 of 532
Quote:


Originally posted by mr__spectre
$599


But my question is, how much better is a DVI DVD player going to look on an HDTV set with DVI versus a standard progressive scan DVD player?

Short answer, for displays that offer a complete digital path without any analog conversion, i.e. most digital displays, the difference is very significant.

See threads - DVI, a practical guide, and Testing .. in my signature.
post #22 of 532
post #23 of 532
Quote:


Originally posted by jonw
product page on LG's web site

Thanks.
post #24 of 532
A local B/M dealer has six on order soon to arrive.
post #25 of 532
Quote:


Originally posted by softengr

DVI Switch
-----------
The LG-3510 ingeniously solves the common DVI switching dilemma between DVI player and HDTV receiver. No 250-800 dollar switcher needed. Only one expensive DVI cable required instead of three. A couch potatoes dream!

I'm don't want to rain on any parades and I actually hope I'm blind. I read the manual for the 3510 and looked at the back panel..and there is only '1' DVI port. When I heard DVI switch, I was hoping to see two DVI ports on the back...one input and one output with the third input being internally coupled to the DVD player. At least for me, I will be forced into a proprietary digital box from my cable provider (insight communications) in order to get high def. Therefore, I if I want to use their DVI output...I'll be needing a real switch box *snap*

-tReP
post #26 of 532
How do the movies look as compared to the HD931?

I really am etting frustrated with it and am looking for something new
post #27 of 532
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by RAVEN56706
How do the movies look as compared to the HD931?

I really am getting frustrated with it and am looking for something new


(In Bill Clinton voice) "I feel your pain!"
post #28 of 532
I have been working with the production model of this piece for the past two weeks. I've tried it on a Marantz Vp12S3, a Sony VLPHS20, VPL400Q, KV34XBR910, KDF60XBR950, Pioneer PRO1000HDI, and several LG, Runco, and Fujitsu plasmas, as well as Mitsubishi RPTVs.

As stated above, Disney releases disable the scaler and only 480p is available on the outputs. However, all other tested commercial DVDs output at any selected resolution, including 720p and 1080i, on Component, DVI, and RGB outputs.

On the fixed pixel devices, the 720p output is preferable. The picture is quite sharp, with excellent color and no noticable artifacts or ringing. Edge enhancement is not an issue at any image size.

The Mits RPTVs and the VPL400q (which does not display 480p/720p) really loved the 1080i output.

DVDs have never looked better on any of these devices. Since the scaler (an OPlus Rembrandt?) works from the pro level (straight digital) the cost-to-performance ratio is way out of wack.

The ATSC/Quam HD tuner is a nice bonus. Pictures from rooftop antenna and Comcast cable were both excellent - better than any Gen3/4 tuners I've seen. Maybe these Gen5 ones are the real deal. Of course, since LG holds the ATSC 8VSB patents, the tuner performance should be no surprise.

Actual street price here in Sacramento is below the stated 599. This player is for real. PRO Group members and Best Buy stores will have access to the line next summer. Until then, only the LG retail partners will be supplied (or so they say).

There is also an ATSC/NTSC 120 gig HD PVR due to ship shortly, using the free TV Guide programming grid.
post #29 of 532
us.lge.com/products/models/hdtv_receiver_combo_index.html
this is the url for the 3510. I think they sell direct.
post #30 of 532
Quote:


Originally posted by AVgod
I have been working with the production model of this piece for the past two weeks.

It sounds great What is your relationship with LG?
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